The council is setting up the partnership to accelerate its ambitions to become a 'world-class' hydrogen hub. ‘Green’ hydrogen uses renewable energy for production of the gas.
BP’s selection follows a tender process that began in June. As the preferred bidder, BP will now work with Aberdeen City Council to conclude the contractual process, which will lead to the set-up of the joint venture. Work will then begin on the required front-end engineering design work, with the aim of making a final investment decision on the selected development concept in 2023.
A key part of the programme will involve the creation of what is described as Scotland’s first scalable green hydrogen production facility. Phase 1, which involves delivery of a green hydrogen facility, is targeting first operations from 2024.
Options could include using power drawn from a new photovoltaic solar farm, green power purchase agreements and a private wire grid connection to generate hydrogen for buses, heavy goods vehicles and large vans.
Future phases could then see production scaled up through further investment to supply larger volumes of hydrogen for rail, freight and marine, as well as supply of hydrogen for heat and potentially export. This would be enabled by the expected increased availability of local renewable energy sources, including offshore wind developments that emerge from the ScotWind leasing round.
Councillor Jenny Laing, leader of Aberdeen City Council, said: “This is a huge announcement for Aberdeen. It paves the way for the city to be a world leader in the production of hydrogen-based green fuel and energy. It will help create a cleaner, more sustainable city for local people and it also provides us with the opportunity to create hundreds of skilled jobs and add millions to the Aberdeen economy.
“There is tremendous investment potential, and we already have deep-rooted skills and experience in the energy sector to tap into. Aberdeen has a worldwide reputation as a pioneering hydrogen city with a net zero emissions vision. We are already leading the way to a greener, cleaner future and working with bp, we intend to put Aberdeen at the forefront of the green economic recovery.
“We already have a successful partnership with BP, who have advised the council on the delivery of our Energy Transition Strategic Infrastructure Plan and this exciting announcement builds on that work.”
Louise Kingham, BP’s UK head of country and senior vice president for Europe, added: “BP wants to play a leading role in Scotland’s energy transition as is evidenced by this news and our transformational bid in the ScotWind offshore wind leasing round.
“These new business opportunities are underpinned by our 50-plus years of operations in the North Sea where, based out of Aberdeen, we have built up vast skills and experience that are directly transferable to emerging energy industries.
“We look forward to working with Aberdeen City Council on this exciting project and are pleased that - following the competitive and robust public procurement process – we were able to position bp as the partner of choice.”
Aberdeen City Council began exploring the use of hydrogen more than 10 years ago and uses to power a fleet of 25 buses and 60 public-sector vehicles and waste trucks, as well as the P&J Live events complex.
Aberdeen City Council’s Convenor for City Growth and Resources Commmittee, Councillor Ryan Houghton, said: “We’re proud that hydrogen is already here in Aberdeen and this significant commercial partnership with bp is set to support our ambitions. We plan to create a blueprint which can be replicated around the world by the cities and regions looking to reach net zero.”